My Mornings

My Wednesday blogs are for pastors! Each Wednesday I will write a word for pastors, as well as church leaders. We can also learn something from one another as leaders, so here you go!

imagesMy Mornings are for God
In 1980, at an evening session of the Texas Baptist Evangelism Conference in Dallas, I heard the late and great W.A. Criswell challenge pastors to give their mornings to God. The following Sunday, I stood before the small church I pastored, the First Baptist Church of Milford, Texas, and announced to them my decision to give my mornings completely to God for prayer and study. All these years, I have lived by this firm commitment. So what do I do in this time with God?

My Morning Schedule, Sunday through Thursday
Over the years, on a typical day, my schedule has evolved into me typically getting up at 3:00 a.m. from Sundays through Thursdays. If I am traveling, this schedule is negotiated and, of course, Sunday is a very different kind of day due to responsibilities.

Sunday Mornings
On Saturday nights I usually struggle going to sleep, anticipating the day ahead. My goal is to be in bed with lights off by 10:15 p.m., if possible. My alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m. and I head into the family room, get a cup of strong coffee or green tea, my iPad, (on which I keep my prayer list), my Bible, and my journal. I begin in prayer, moving into the Word, interweaving with prayer, and journaling a prayer to God — which I’ve done daily since January 1, 1990. I am a big believer in having a spiritual journal.

At 4:45 a.m. I jog on my treadmill for an hour, going over my sermon, praying through it, and talking through it aloud. This is where I move to mastering the sermon. After an hour on the treadmill, I call a prayer partner for a few minutes. I have called this man every Sunday morning since 1989, it is a practice I strongly encourage pastors to develop. I then eat a very light breakfast and head for the shower.

By 7:35 a.m. I am on my way to church. After touching base with our leaders for ten minutes, I am in my office for prayer and additional study. By 8:40 a.m. I am on my way to greet church members and guests in an informal setting and by 9:00 a.m. I walk into a prayer room with several men who lay hands on me and pray for me. By 9:10 a.m. I walk into our worship center, greet more people, and begin the worship experience. At the present time, I preach two major services, one at our Springdale campus and another at our Pinnacle Hills campus. After the second service, Jeana and I greet people for at least 20 minutes, we usually leave the campus around 1:00 p.m. I may or may not have a luncheon, but whatever the schedule, I look forward to a brief nap in the afternoon.

Monday Mornings through Thursday Mornings
Again, the alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m. After water goes on my face and I grab coffee or green tea to help me start the day, I head to my home study. The first 90 minutes of my morning are spent in prayer and the Word devotionally. I reference a long prayer list on my iPad, which continually grows and is updated. I always end up in my prayer journal, writing a prayer to God daily.

By 4:45 a.m. I am totally into my sermon preparation. I take this very seriously. For a pastor, there is nothing that is more important than developing your personal walk, followed by preparation to teach and preach the Word of God. From 4:45 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., with the exception of one hour for exercise and personal fitness, I am in study preparation. Sometimes I will respond to emails if it fits into the moment. If not, I wait. By 10:30 a.m. I am in the shower and by 11:30 a.m. I am on my way to a lunch meeting.

Friday and Saturday Mornings
I usually sleep in until 6:00 a.m. on Fridays and 6:30 a.m. on Saturdays. I always begin my day with God for at least an hour to 90 minutes. On Saturday mornings, I move into sermon preparation, mainly working on memorizing the sermon. I finish around 9:00 a.m., which during college football season is just in time for my favorite television program, ESPN’s “College Game Day.”

Take Away for Pastors Today: Give Your Mornings to God!
Giving your morning to God will transform your life and ministry. Nothing, and I repeat nothing, is more important than your own personal spiritual development and walk with God. It will transform your life and ministry. So pastors, devote yourself to a deep study time giving yourself to prayer and the study of God’s Word.

Yours For The Great Commission,

Ronnie Floyd


14 comments on “My Mornings

  1. Jeff Freeman says:

    I read of your routine years ago and have followed it,customizing it to my own life. I must say it has transformed my walk with Christ and my ministry. Thank you for the example you set.

  2. Terry Lange says:

    Thanks for writing this. I remember WA Criswell saying ” Give your mornings to God” One question, how do you survive on such a small amount of sleep with the tasks the you perform each day?

  3. David King says:

    Thank you for sharing your schedule, Ronnie. Do you try to be in bed with lights off by 10:15 on every night or just on Saturday night?

    • Ronnie Floyd says:

      Each night is different, all depending on several things. Typically, I am asleep by 10:30 on Monday-Wednesday nights. Sunday harder due to day. Thursday night no pressure because I take off on Friday. Hope this helps guys. Thanks for your comments. -RWF

  4. Eric Jones says:

    I appreciate your devotion and your willingness to share your personal journey to help us all be better servants for Christ.

  5. Randy says:

    Thank you Bro. Ronnie for sharing your prayer life with us. I appreciate this article very much and shared it on Twitter and Facebook.

    God bless you,

  6. Jay says:

    I feel a guilt trip coming on for all the pastors who need a “normal” 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If I had 4.5 hours of sleep a night, you would not want to hear my sermons and my wife and kids would be miserable because I would be ornery. I’d be making lots of bad decisions. Am I a spiritual putz? Or is it OK for the alarm to go off at 6am?

    • Ronnie Floyd says:

      Jay, You and God alone can work out your schedule. The key is the principle: early or first or both! The overall principle is first…start your day with Jesus first. Whether it is early, real early or mid-day, start it with Jesus first. RWF

  7. Patrick says:

    Thank you Pastor Ronnie for your Godly example to follow of getting up earlier and going farther with The Lord to truly finding treasures. I recently led a study through your book Life on Fire with a group of men here in Columbus, Ohio and our lives were changed. Be encouraged, God’s name is becoming famous due to your work.

  8. […] time without a strong personal walk with Jesus Christ. In last week’s post, on Feb. 6, entitled, My Mornings, you will learn about how I have given my mornings to God. I mention this only briefly today […]

  9. Ben says:

    Thanks for your post. It has challenged me to rethink some of my schedule. 2 questions I have from it.
    1. Did you keep this schedule when you had kids at home and/or how did you fit this into your family routine with kids?
    2. Do you have a specific app you use on your iPad for your prayer list?

    • Ronnie Floyd says:

      Thank you Ben, 1. When my kids were home, I was still early morning, but 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. 2. No, just the notes app that is already on it…and create it from there. RWF

  10. […] Prioritizing your commitments is imperative. I encourage you to take the time to list all the deadlines set before you. For a pastor, I believe our number one assignment is to feed the people of God from the Word of God. Great teaching and preaching will cover a multitude of your sins! Never let your preparation of teaching the Word slide. This is why I give my mornings to God. […]

  11. […] world for any length of time without a strong personal walk with Jesus Christ. In a post entitled, My Mornings, you will learn about how I have given my mornings to God. I mention this only briefly today […]

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